The Adventures of Mr. Maxmillian Bacchus and His Travelling Circus

by Clive Barker
Release date: 2009
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, short stories

Four interwoven stories penned by Clive Barker 40 years ago that have never been in print.

Maximillian Bacchus is the ringmaster, ruler, guide and owner of what he considers the greatest show in the world. Traveling with a Crocodile named Malachi, a trapeze girl named Ophelia, a strong mane they call Hero, which is short for Hieronymus a clown named Domingo de Ybarrondo, who paints in a wagon pulled by a giant “Ibis bird,” the troupe wanders from adventure to adventure with mythic aplomb.

From the first story, in which Indigo Murphy, the best bird handler in the world leaves the show to join in matrimony with the Duke Lorenzo de Medici, to the fabled court of Kubla Khan, the magic never stops. You will meet a young apple thief named Angelo with magic eyes, and an orang-outang named Bathsheba, and a host of other amazing characters with names and personas cut like a patchwork quilt from the mythologies and dreams of the world.

Though written forty years ago, these pages are littered with the same magical side steps that have always been woven into Clive Barker’s fiction. Worlds not quit our own, and yet so real they ring with truth and leave you wishing you could step from your mundane life into that other place – into those caves of ice – if only long enough to catch Maximillian’s show.


  • The Fool Rises (essay) by Clive Barker
  • The Wedding of Indigo Murphy To the Duke Lorenzo de Medici and How Angelo Was Discovered in an Orchard
  • The Face of the Flying Fish and Why Docor Jozabiah Bentham's Theatre of Tears Sailed North
  • How the Clown Domingo de Y Barrondo Fell Over the Edge of the World
  • How Mr. Maximillian Bacchus' Travelling Curcus Reached Cathay, and Entertained the Court of the Khan Called Kublai In Xanadu, How They Sought the Bearded Bird, and How, At Last, Angelo Was Lost
  • The Worlds and Words Between the Cracks (essay) by David Niall Wilson
(updated 2010-09-07)

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